Writing

Tips for Getting Useful User Feedback

On Monday, I gave a short attendee talk at MicroConf Growth on how to conduct user interviews and usability sessions. It was only twelve minutes, though, so I had to focus it on the key point: Getting useful user feedback is all about how you act. To find your user’s pain points (and in turn opportunities for your business), you need to make them feel comfortable being open and vulnerable with you. This means you

Bootstrapping a Business: 5 Years In

Retrospective on 5 years of Geocodio at IndieHackers in January 2019. Read the original post on IndieHackers On January 21, 2014, Geocodio was officially launched into the world. By some miracle of luck, we landed on the front page of Hacker News for almost the whole day. In the pre-Product Hunt era, this was about as good as a launch could possibly go. The traffic surge quickly faded and not everyone had

Getting Started with User Interviews in 3 Steps

It’s frustrating to look at your metrics and wonder why you have high dropoff, low conversion, or low engagement. Ultimately, there’s only so much digging you can do in Google Analytics or a spreadsheet before you need to try something different. Google Analytics will tell you that people are doing things. But it will never tell you why. It will never tell you their motivations, their frustrations, and what they’re trying to do.

5 Things I’ve Learned After Going Full Time on My Side Project

This past summer, my husband/co-founder and I had the opportunity to speak at Laracon 2017 on Launching & Scaling a Side Project. In the talk, we talked about what we’ve learned launching (…and scaling!) Geocodio, which we started as a side project in January 2014. It’s been quite the journey, and we wanted to share what we’ve learned with others to fuel their own entrepreneurial efforts. We made sure to mention that

Congratulate Your Users

Note: I wrote this just before leaving The Motley Fool. I had so much fun working on product there and I’m still incredibly proud of the work we did together. Something I’ve become excited about in the past year is increasing users’ self-esteem, especially in situations where they wouldn’t normally expect it. From retail to investing, it’s a small but high-impact way to increase user satisfaction and delight. Even things

Six Things I Learned Building the Harvey.Geocod.io Twitter Rescue Requests Map

Hurricane Harvey was the first time I’ve ever participated in the civilian response to a natural disaster, and I learned a lot in the process. My husband and I made a map that showed tweets of people wanting to be rescued (previously housed at harvey.geocod.io, but since taken down out of respect for victims’ privacy). By the time Harvey left the Texas coast, it had logged over 1,800 requests for

Nine Things I Learned From Giving (Surviving) My First Talk at a Tech Conference

This past week, I had the fortune of co-presenting a talk at Laracon in NYC on Launching and Scaling a Side Project. It was my first time speaking at a conference, and since I lived to tell the tale, I figured I’d share what I learned in the process. 1. Deckset is awesome, use it. I resisted. I normally make slides in Google Slides, but my co-presenter, my husband, insisted on

Six Product Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner

It is a rare and special book that helps you with how to think in addition to what to think. And the more I work in product, the more I realize the importance of honing cognitive skills in the form of frameworks and mental models as a way to structure the information and world around me to ultimately find opportunities. Each of these books has given me a unique perspective on the world and